Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A policy of murder

In July, 1950, during the Korean War, US forces holding a bridge at No Gun Ri shot, shelled, and called in airstrikes on refugees attempting to flee advancing communist forces. In the process, several hundred innocent civilians were killed. When the massacre was revealed in 1999, a US Army inquiry found that the killings were an "unfortunate tragedy" due to panicky soldiers, rather than the result of a deliberate policy. But now evidence has come to light which undermines that conclusion. A US historian, Sahr Conway-Lanz, has discovered a letter from the US Ambassador to Seoul to the US State Department reporting on decisions made at a high level meeting of American officials the day before the killings began. One of those decisions was a deliberate policy to shoot refugees:

"If refugees do appear from north of US lines they will receive warning shots, and if they then persist in advancing they will be shot," wrote the ambassador, John J Muccio, in his message to the Assistant Secretary of State, Dean Rusk.

This is nothing less than a policy of deliberate, cold blooded murder. Unfortunately, I doubt that any of those responsible will still be alive to face prosecution for it.


And even where the US military has no policy of civilian killing, (or prisoner abuse, or torture, etc), its an inevitable consequence of
*the type of people who are soldiers,
*the training they get,
*the mindsets they develop,
*the atmosphere and culture they work in, and
*the situations they find themselves in.

These things are all dictated by the higher levels of the military, and politicians. Anecdotally it seems that most of their soldiers and the down-and-outs of society, desperate for the job and the opportunity, or they are the crazy gun-totin sort who just want to shoot some 'chinks' or 'ragheads'. They get training to turn them into psychotic killing machines, disengaged from any morality, and they end up viewing the thing like a computer game (I can't remember where I saw an article from a 'embedded' reporter inside a tank, she described the soldiers whooping it up and describing it just like computer shoot-em-ups, counting their kills etc). The unwritten rules handed down by the generals, etc, seem to be to torture, abuse, all you like, just don't get caught and don't blame us, we'll look the other way unless the torture goes public.

In my opinion its pretty clear that all the shit in the US military starts at the top. The soldiers are hardly to blame with the culture and training they absorb...

Sure they have to be punished, to set the right incentives for the rest. But the blame, the fault, (and the judgement at the end of the day if you're a christian) has to go to the top ranks and the US government. They're the ones with the power to stop this shit.

Damn I look forward to the day when the american empire gets crushed. It'll be tough on the people, but necessary for the greater good of the world. (I hope americans can understand that logic, they should be pretty familiar with it by now...)

Posted by Anonymous : 5/31/2006 02:19:00 PM

Looks to me like there is shit in the american military at the bottom. Where you have the soldiers who break the rules to run out and slaughter an iraqi family. Maybe that is, in part, a sign of an overstreched military.

As to america getting crushed I think there are some benefits in it but it is pretty easy to overestimate them, because nature abhors a vacume of power (to mix metaphores) and the guy doing the crushing may or may not be nicer than the guy being crushed.

Before you wsh for something you should check to see if you actually want it.

Posted by Genius : 6/01/2006 06:57:00 AM